April 13th, 2015

I set up a four digit PIN on my Windows 8 tablet to make it quick and easy for me to log in without my more complicated Microsoft Live password. But now the PIN isn’t working. How do I get in?

The whole PIN number way to enter is darn handy, actually, almost as good as having your PC scan your fingerprint in terms of both offering security and making it easy for you to log in to your tablet or computer quickly and easily. Thing of it is, like anything else, if you forget it, you’ve got a problem. Read the rest of this entry »

March 2nd, 2015

I don’t mind Windows 8 too much after using it for a while, but I really can’t get over the loss of theStart Menu. I know 8.1 puts a button on the lower left of the screen, but I want my menu. How can I fix it?

You raise a huge issue, one that’s the greatest complaint people have about Windows 8 and Win8.1: that the handy start menu has become a start screen and that the very concept of “everything running on the Desktop” has been reinvented to be lots of windows and some apps running within their own worlds while others still run within the Desktop environment. It’s confusing, to say the least. But Microsoft’s pretty insistent that the Start Menu no longer has a place in the world of Windows 8. Read the rest of this entry »

January 23rd, 2015

I’ve been going crazy trying to figure out how to add special characters and symbols to email and documents on my Dell Windows 8 system. Is there a shortcut or app or something to make the process easier?

If you’re just used to typing in A-Z, a-z, digits and basic punctuation, there’s a world of symbols and special characters that you could be using to add color and verve to your text communications, and it doesn’t involve stickers, smileys, emoticons or anything else. In your case, you already know the need because there are certain characters you need to include that are difficult to find on a standard Microsoft Windows keyboard, whether you’re running Win7, Win8 or an early beta of Windows 10. Read the rest of this entry »

November 19th, 2014

I’m a Mac guy, but now have a Windows 8 PC computer on my desk at work. Not the end of the world, but is there a way to share content between Mac and PC? Read the rest of this entry »

October 2nd, 2014

Microsoft revealed Windows 10 on Tuesday. It will be available for “early technical preview” for PC on October 1st. Read the rest of this entry »

August 26th, 2014

Microsoft is said to be planning to introduce the world to Windows 9 as soon as next month.

According to a report from The Verge, citing sources familiar with the company’s plans, a press event is planned for September 30th, though that’s apparently subject to change. Either way, it sounds like we’ll be getting a look pretty soon. Read the rest of this entry »

July 23rd, 2014

As previously reported, Microsoft announced that it is cutting 18,000 jobs within the next year, starting with 13,000 of them within the next six months.

CEO Satya Nadella laid out the plans in an email to staff, which the company also made available to the public. He said more details would be forthcoming at the company’s earnings call next week. Read the rest of this entry »

June 16th, 2014

I worry sometimes that the automatic update on my Windows 8 system isn’t working properly and that I’m expose to viruses and malware. Is there a fast way I can check to see if there are any pending Win8 windows updates?

While I haven’t had any problems with the automatic update feature in Windows 8.1, I think it’s smart for you to do an occasional spot check because, well, sometimes things are scheduled for a specific time of the week and if your computer’s not on during that period of time then the update’s missed until the following week. If it’s a laptop that can accumulate and you can certainly be weeks and weeks behind, which does open up some vulnerabilities on your system. Read the rest of this entry »

May 12th, 2014

Most of the time the applications shown on the Start Menu are exactly what I need to run, but I’d like to have a few “pinned” or locked. Is that possible, and if so how do I pin a program onto the Windows 7 Start Menu? Read the rest of this entry »

April 22nd, 2014

Windows XP is nowofficially dead. Earlier this week Microsoft officially ended support for the OS, which had become one of the most popular in history.

PC manufacturers had hoped that the death of XP would fuel sales of new computers as consumers and businesses looked to upgrade their machines to run Windows 7 or Windows 8. Now the numbers are in and it’s clear that Windows XP has contributed to PC sales, if only a bit.

Market research firm IDC today released its first-quarter 2014 PC shipment estimates. The firm estimates that 73.4 million PCs were shipped this year through march. This represents a 4.4% decline in PC sales from the first quarter of 2013.

Despite the continuing decline of the PC market, IDC points out that this 4.4% decline is less than the expected decline of 5.3%. The firm attributes this better-than-expected result to the death of XP. Shipment numbers in mature markets, and in Japan in particular, were bettered by Windows XP infrastructure upgrades. Even so, the boost from Windows XP upgrades will likely be short-term and is not enough to reverse the declining growth of the traditional PC industry.

“PC shipment growth in the United States remained slightly faster than most other regions in the first quarter, said Rajani Singh, senior research analyst for Personal Computing at IDC. “However, the passing boost from XP replacements, constrained consumer demand, and no clear driver of a market rebound are expected to keep growth below zero going forward. A rebound in consumer or a continuation of accelerated commercial upgrades could boost growth slightly, but low demand for upgrades in general combined with competition from tablets and 2-in-1 systems limit the growth potential.”

Despite the continued decline of the overall PC market, top brands did see their first quarter shipments rise in 2014. Lenovo once again saw the largest growth in the industry with a 10.5% year-over-year shipment increase to nearly 13 million shipped PCs during the first quarter. HP is now following with 12.6 million units shipped during the first quarter, a 4.7% increase over 2013 shipments.

Image via Lenovo

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